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VTL Data De-Duplication Eases Storage Crunch

The Arizona Republic newspaper functions as much like a storage vendor as a storage customer. It backs up its own data as well as that of other entities owned by its parent company, Gannett, using a variety of systems and backup schedules. Consequently, the publishing entity is often at the forefront of developments in backup technology, such as implementing data de-duplication technology to meet its growing storage requirements.

Founded in May 1890, The Arizona Republic has been the state's largest and most influential newspaper. The company was also an early entrant in Internet media, launching a Website in 1995. In 2000, Gannett, which has close to 1,000 domestic news publications including USA Today under its aegis, gobbled up the paper as well as its associated properties.

The Arizona media firm now has roughly 450 to 500 servers, running a variety of operating systems such as Linux, Solaris, IBM AIX, X86, and VMWare. "In the media industry, companies develop a lot of custom applications because there are not a lot of off-the-shelf applications available," says John Tabor, principal system administrator at The Arizona Republic.

The company has more than 100 TB of information under management. Consequently, the company uses various backup approaches and systems, such as CommVault's Simpana, EMC's Legato, and Symantec's NetBackup. The media company has staggered the backup times on its servers, with much of the work being done on the weekends. Some data is backed up daily, some weekly.

Meeting backup windows has been an ongoing challenge, and one reason why the publishing entity was an early entrant in using a virtual tape library (VTL) area. In 2003, The Arizona Republic decided against using tape to back up its growing SAN because that approach would have been expensive and time consuming. The media company selected a VTL from EMC to support the storage network.

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